SUPER LEAGUE’S form team Huddersfield Giants saw their four-game winning run ended today by improving Salford Red Devils.
In a scrappy match, Rangi Chase and Michael Dobson’s superior kicking arguably proved the difference as the visitors did just enough to claim the points, jumping from ninth up to fourth where they remove Giants who now slip a place.
Huddersfield, who lost England second-row Brett Ferres to an ankle injury in the first half, saw Wigan Warriors loanee Jack Hughes score his first try for the club in the 36th minute but they had little else to cheer.
Danny Brough converted to leave it 10-6 at the interval after ex-Giant Josh Griffin and Ben Jones-Bishop had each scored tries for Salford, Griffin kicking one conversion.
But Iestyn Harris’ side - who saw Kiwi full-back Kevin Locke led off dazed early on - crucially crossed next when Carl Forster exploited poor defence for Griffin to make it 16-6 in the 55th minute.
Weller Hauraki was put on report for a high tackle on Huddersfield full-back Scott Grix but the home side, continually strangled by a succession of basic handling mistakes, struggled to force any pressure to respond.
Admittedly, they became increasingly irritated by referee James Child’s poor management of the ruck area, Salford defenders lying on in the tackle for what seemed an eternity at times.
They did finally hit back when Aaron Murphy raced on to Jamie Ellis’ kick for his fifth try of the year, Brough converting the 71st minute effort.
But there was no stirring finale. Instead, after yet more home errors, Griffin kicked a late penalty to subdue the game.
There remains plenty of work to do for Paul Anderson’s side before they head to Hull KR on Easter Monday, opponents who have beaten champions St Helens and derby rivals Hull FC in their last two games.
Huddersfield Giants: Grix; McGillvary, Murphy, Wardle, Broughton; Brough, Ellis; Huby, Robinson, Kopczak, Hughes, Ferres, Ta’ai. Replacements: Crabtree, Lawrence, Wood, Johnson.
Salford Red Devils: Locke; Jones-Bishop, J Griffin, Sa’u, Johnson; Chase, Dobson; Morley, Lee, Taylor, Paterson, Hauraki, Hansen. Replacements: Tasi, D Griffin, Hood, Forster.
Referee: James Child (Dewsbury)